Green for go as recycling rates show marked increase

GLASGOW has turned the corner on its low rate of recycling.

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The city council today revealed it diverted nearly 33% of all household trash from landfill.

Although that figure is still below the Scottish average – and below the amounts posted by other cities – it is a significant rise from the stage the process was at this time last year.

The average recycling of household waste rose from 24% in 2010-11, to 26.5% in 2011-12 and up to 32.8% in the first half of the 2012-13 financial year.

City council chiefs put the rise, which was higher than they expected, down to what they called "managed weekly collections". This is when householders put out their recycling and ordinary bins on alternate weeks.

The city, which has been heavily criticised in the past for its record on recycling, is also now piloting food waste and recently warned it would fine those who overfill their buckets.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman, said: "We have increased dramatically the number of recycling collections in the city with the introduction of managed weekly collections.

"We have also increased the range of materials we collect and urge people to make as much use of those facilities as they can.

"For example, it is now possible to put cardboard in any blue bin.

"The development of new services, from food waste collections to the treatment of our residual waste, will see performance improve further over coming years and, crucially, end the city's reliance on landfill."

But Glasgow's improved performance did not impress the city's Green MSP, Patrick Harvie.

He disagrees with the council's plan for cutting down the amount it sends to landfill - an energy- from-waste plant.

The planned Polmadie facility will sort recyclables out of "residual waste", but will essentially burn trash to generate electricity and hot water.

Mr Harvie said: "It is hugely embarrassing that two thirds of the waste created in Scotland's biggest city is dumped in holes in the ground, costing council taxpayers a fortune and generating incredibly damaging greenhouse gases.

"Now the city council is pinning its hopes on unpopular incinerators.

"Instead there should be much more effort to prevent waste happening in the first place by challenging supermarkets and manufacturers, and it should be made easier for people to recycle."

GREEN BIN: every two weeKS

Normal household waste


Wine bottles

Beer bottles

Coffee jars

Pickle jars

Jam jars

Glass sauce bottles

Brown bin: every two weeks



Small tree or bush branches

Grass and



Hedge trimmings


Blue bin: every two weeks



Office paper


Phone directories

Junk mail

Food tins

Drink cans (rinsed)

Plastic bottles

White envelopes

Cardboard boxes

Card packaging


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